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Bow Regard . . .

Posted by bj on Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I can't say I'm 100% happy with the bows I'm playing right now. The ones that are nimblest don't pull the best tone, and the ones that pull the best tone aren't as nimble. But I also don't have all that much extra cash laying around right now to buy a new bow. I do have a couple bows that need hairing and are very promising but that's always somewhat of a crapshoot, since rehairing may make a bow a great bow, but not necessarily a great bow for me and for my fiddles. One is a GA Pfretchner pernambuco fully silver mounted bow that currently has NO hair on it that I picked up at the flea for 50 bucks from Jose, the fiddle dealer. It SHOULD be a good bow, and it is the octagonal that I tend to like. But what if I don't like it once it's rehaired?

I've been experimenting.

There's one passage in one tune I'm playing that requires some fast string changes between the A and E strings with some sawstroke betwixt and between. That's my test piece for these bows, since the timing is a bit finicky.

It's been interesting.

Lightness has something to do with whether I can play the changes with good timing with my regular bow hold, but lightness isn't the whole story. Balance is, of course, a big part of it. So the bow I don't like the sound of at all, the carbon fiber Tabary Prism, is the winner there. One of my other bows, one that does pull pretty dang good tone, is a somewhat close second. My favorite bow to play with is, weirdly, a fairly distant third, but yeah, that one really pulls the tone outta this fiddle.

I dunno why I decided to do all my bows with a choked up hold. But I did.

Wow. Improvement on all in the timing. But the one in second place is actually now very slightly BETTER than the Tabary, and is still pulling tone, even though it's slightly less tone when choked up. My fave bow is better choked up, but still not as nimble, and the tone isn't nearly as good when choked. So I think I'm gonna be playing the one with the frog that's dressed up like a french callgirl and has the little MOP dots on the adjuster. So girly, sheesh. And I'm the original tomboy.

There IS one bow that is even nimbler than the Tabary or the girly bow AND pulls the tone. Unfortunately it's got just enough hair on one side to yank the bow warpy when tightened, so I shouldn't be playing it at all, since it's still relatively straight when detensioned. That hurts. It's also, because of the warp pull, the one I can easily play triple stops on, but dang, I think this sucker is pernambuco, and I don't wanna ruin a good bow playing it this way. It also pulls good tone whether played with a regular hold or choked, but there is some bit of difference. I guess I gotta get this one rehaired. I hate to lose those triple stops though.

25 comments on “Bow Regard . . .”

ChickenMan Says:
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 @10:34:25 AM

I got nothing to add except this: "bow regard" is an excellent use of word play.

bj Says:
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 @10:49:47 AM

I stole it from fiddlepogo aka Michael. ;-)

mudbug Says:
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 @3:16:27 PM

"What if I don't like it once it's rehaired?" Bring it to Fiddle Hell this year. I bet I'd like it!

bj Says:
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 @4:27:40 PM


Well, I've managed to collect around a half dozen pernambuco bows that need rehairing, so some of them may make it up there for sale.

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Thursday, July 14, 2011 @8:26:26 PM

I once knew a gal who rehaired and was so excited all she could play was "Rehaired Boy...."

bj Says:
Friday, July 15, 2011 @2:44:30 AM

Huh, I don't know that one . . .

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Saturday, July 16, 2011 @10:04:14 AM

I have a permabunko bow which decided to let its hair down and fall freely, about half its hair's worth, so naturally I attached it permanently with a small dab o' Shoe Goo and duck tape. It's now quite a great bow. Sounds splendid. What...I'm not joking! Oh sure no one's done it before, yet prolly no one had built a fiddle afore the first one was built, too. My repair has left the bow perfectly balanced, made the playing and tone balancedly perfect.

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Sunday, July 17, 2011 @9:09:58 AM

Good gosh but it seems I close more discussions than anyone 'round here, not something of which to be proud I'm guessing....

ChickenMan Says:
Sunday, July 17, 2011 @9:12:38 AM

I used to think the same about myself - being the last poster on any given thread. Now I try to post early in the fray. Oops. I just did it again I bet.

bj Says:
Monday, July 18, 2011 @7:31:03 AM

You guys . . . ** snicker! **

eerohero Says:
Monday, August 8, 2011 @3:15:23 PM

Bj do you have some Tune of beauty with some triple stops in your library?
I wouldnt mind to share it with You

bj Says:
Monday, August 8, 2011 @3:38:29 PM

Eero, I don't record anything. Janey sometimes does, when we're playing, but I don't bring the triplestop bow out and about with me, so I don't have it when I play with her.

eerohero Says:
Tuesday, August 9, 2011 @1:41:56 PM

Oh,thats quite alright, Johnny Gimble does some nice triple stop fiddle on youtube.Of course his Bow is hair side up and the fiddle in the middle of it ! its an acrobatic Act.

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @11:09:30 AM

July 12th was such a long long long long long long long long time ago....

ChickenMan Says:
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @7:01:46 PM

And we're back where we started, eh Humbled?

bj Says:
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @7:08:01 PM

Geez, it's busking and festival season, not to mention my busy season with work, give a gal a break, huh?

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @9:40:45 PM


ChickenMan Says:
Friday, August 12, 2011 @7:18:33 AM

Mayhaps humbled was mentioning the date is a sarcastic manner - as in, I thought this thread was done being noticed...:-)

ChickenMan Says:
Friday, August 12, 2011 @7:19:15 AM

I meant "in a sarcastic manner" not "is a sarcastic manner"

bj Says:
Friday, August 12, 2011 @7:24:31 AM

Nah. Humbled often reminds me that I'm neglecting my blog, and, by extension, my ongoing conversation with him (and everyone else.)

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Monday, August 15, 2011 @4:35:16 PM

All I'm saying is that...well...what I'm saying is that...actually, I don't have anything to say or add which would edify or accentuate anyone's Existential core; notwithstanding, for I'm sitting, bj has been neglecting her blog, a blog which I enjoy reading, (and since MY enjoyment is all), so I do try to prod her along...yet I realize she's busy, has a life outside of FHO, is working hard hours on end with her three businesses--and I do applaud her for it btw--yet...uhm...once again I'm the last posting!

bj Says:
Monday, August 15, 2011 @5:06:30 PM

No, you aren't. HAH!

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Monday, August 15, 2011 @5:47:37 PM

Am too!

bj Says:
Monday, August 15, 2011 @6:11:04 PM

Are NOT!

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @7:58:26 PM

Am toooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

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